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Hi

Yes, there are essentially two approaches to cooling in hot climates without the use of electricity. One is to access the constant subterranean temperature. This is hotter than ambient air temperature in winter and cooler than air temperature in summer. The top 3 metres of ground are usually in the range of 10 - 16 degrees C. A common technology for taking advantage of this stable regime is ground source heat pumps, but these obviously require an external electricity supply. Employing ground cooling using only ambient energy requires both excavation/ burial of cooling ducts and a means of drawing air through them into the space to be cooled. One useful approach to this could be a solar chimney - a pipe or vertical masonry chimney, which would be heated by solar heat during the daytime, creating an internal thermo-syphon which would draw air up from the bottom to the top. This would be connected to the top of the cooled space, allowing the cooled below-ground ducts to be connected at the bottom. The chimney would then draw air from the ducts, through the building.

The second (and possibly complementary) approach would be to use the phase-change or 'night storage' effect of heavy construction - a common aspect of vernacular architecture in hot climates. In this technique, key parts of the building constructed of heavy materials (masonry, rock, rammed earth, etc) are cooled by night-time ventilation and then used during the midday heat to absorb heat from the air inside the building.

Both these approaches require some thought about how best to move air through ducts and how to arrange these in relation to chimneys, massive walls, underground cooling areas, etc.

Hope this helps. Ask if you need more detail...

Keith Cowling